Our unforgettable Scotland and Ireland adventure was from April 10-April 17th. We stayed three nights in each country. This gave us a taste of each place but definitely left us wanting to return.
The trip came about in late January. My husband and I are both teachers, so we have Spring Break off with the kids. The tricky part about planning a vacation for this week is that it’s not a given. If we use too many snow days, it’s possible for our break to be shortened. By the end of January with 3 and 4 days left in play, we thought we were safe booking a trip.
Our first idea had been to visit the Might Five National Parks in Utah. We thought that flying into Las Vegas would give us many flight options and we could make our way across Utah from west to east. The flights were pretty high so we held off to see if they would come down. While we were waiting, a Groupon e-mail advertised a $799 per person trip through Great Value Vacations. The 6 night trip included airfare, rental car and bed and breakfast accommodations. But was it available during our break (unlike so many other deals)? It WAS!
This trip checked off several boxes in what we were looking for:
fit our dates
traveled to another country (or is this case countries)
new to us
So it seemed perfect! And it really was. I clicked through the options and saw that if booking with children, I needed to call Great Value Vacations directly. This proved to be a problem. The wait time was approximately 40 minutes. I asked a few questions on the children’s pricing and hung up to talk it over with DH. This was probably a big mistake. When we decided later that night to go for it, the phone lines were closed. The next day, our dates were booked and the prices were doubled!
No trip after all? Noooooo! We kept checking the dates, and I found that if we left Monday instead of Saturday, we could get the same price. Unfortunately, when we called (another long wait), the price didn’t seem to be available. I’m not sure where the issue was, but the price kept flipping back and forth from $799 to over $1400. It began to look as if we were too late.
The third time’s a charm, and I called once more to say I saw the $799 price available. After some clicking and breath-holding, the representative saw it! She swiftly helped me to book the Monday to Monday trip and adjusted the flights so that we would land in Ireland at a decent hour. I don’t remember her name, but thanks for your help!
Even though the booking was bumpy, our experience with Great Value Vacations from then on was great. I know they have added customer service representatives and I’m sure that will help with the wait times. Otherwise, I would just question why it was necessary for us to book over the phone. When purchasing through Groupon, the kids’ price ended up being the same as the adult price. If the price is the same, it would probably be easier to take care of it online only.
Shortly after booking we received the travel vouchers to begin booking our B&B stays. We were impressed with the variety of options and locations available. It was very easy to book and we encountered no problems with any of our reservations.
After that, all that was left was to plan our daily itinerary…